1914 FWD Model B
• Brought to Vancouver from England after WWI
• A working Vancouver truck hauling coal tar
• Used as a snowplow to clear the BC Electric streetcar lines(BC Hydro)
• BC Provincial Museum staff restored the truck in 1974
• Cab was offered only on British Made FWD Trucks
• The engine, supplied by the” Wisconsin Motor Manufacturing Company ” was also used in the legendary Stutz Bearcat.
• A 6 cylinder version of the engine was used in Power shovels that dug the Panama canal.
• The FWD Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company of Clintonville, Wisconsin, was started to build 4 wheel drive automobiles only.
• First named as the Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company in 1908
• Their first car was twice the price of any other car and named the “Battleship”
• Known as the Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company in 1910, the FWD Corporation in 1958.
• Purchased many Fire fighting companies starting in 1963, the built FWD 6 wheel drive firetrucks for airports into the 1990’s.
• A small newspaper ad lead to a visit by the Military thast was looking to replace Mules and wagons.
• The army stipulated their trucks must be able to match the speed of marching troops without overheating (3 to 4 mph approx. 6 kmh)
• The FWD Model B was still used in WWII
• The Model B truck was also built in Kitchener, Ontario and England.
• The axles width of 4 ‘ 8½” allowed them to run on standard railroad tracks.
• First saw military action against Pancho Villa
• Factory refurbished Model B’s were still sold at least until 1939 with parts still available in the 1980’s.
It is generally believed that the museum’s 1914 FWD is a WW1 unit. When the war ended there was a glut of vehicles and many were repurposed for for construction and utility work.
The BC Electric Company was largely a British influenced and managed company at that time, which likely explains why they purchased this truck from England. The manufacturer’s plate with the serial number shows the FWD logo with England printed over it and shows it is serial number
After the FWD was shipped to Vancouver, it was used to haul coal and plow snow from Vancouver’s streetcar system.
Comet Delivery purchased it in 1929, and it remained at Bob king’s Pender Street Warehouse, until donated to the Provincial Museum. Museum staff restored this truck in 1974.
Vehicle: FWD Model B-1918
English Cab forward(not available on American models)
3000 lbs. carrying capacity.
Engine: 389ci 4-cyl Wisconsin “T” head 30 H.P. gasoline engine.
Power (hp): 50 @ 1,300 rpm (brake- 36.1 ALAM)
Torque (lb-ft): 222 @ 1,200 rpm
Bore & stroke (in): 4.75 x 5.5
Comp. ratio: 4:1
Transfer case: Single-spd, full-time, 2.06:1 ratio
Front axle: FWD, full-floating
Rear axle: FWD, full-floating
Axle ratio: 4.30:1
Tires: 6×36 solid rubber (cast-iron wheels)
Wheelbase (in): 124
GVW (lb): 14,510
Curb weight (lb): 7,308
Fuel capacity (gal): 30
Min. grd. clearance (in): 9.68